Cop28: Prime Minister attends, accused of mixed messaging

Speaking at Cop28 the prime minister has announced £1.6 bn pound of climate funding but has been accused of mixed messaging, after defending his reversal of net zero policies including on heat pumps and energy efficiency.

Speaking at a press conference following his speech the Prime Minister described his policies as “eminently reasonable”.

“I shift a date to be in line with basically every other country and it’s somehow portrayed as some extreme measure. I think that just tells you that this debate has been polarised by extremes and that’s not healthy or good for the country,” he continued.

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Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech Greenpeace UK head of politics Rebecca Newsom said: “Like yesterday’s chart topper clinging to past glories, Rishi Sunak’s claims about climate leadership feel like an old hit we’ve heard of one too many times”.

“He masquerades like a headliner while reprising a sorry medley of net zero policy roll backs while keeping silent on the biggest issue that will make a difference to cutting emissions at this conference: a global phase out of fossil fuels”.

She also said that the £1.6 billion announcement was not enough to support countries in the Global South, and called for more taxes to be introduced on fossil fuel companies.

She added: “The UK’s silence on cutting fossil fuels stands in stark contrast not only with the most progressive governments but also the COP28 presidency and the International Energy Agency, who have started to become more vocal on this issue”.

The leader of the opposition Kier Starmer, who is also in attendance at the summit, has also criticised Rishi Sunak for ‘sending the wrong signals’.

Ahead of the Cop28 summit, the Prime Minister was also criticised by former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May who said: “I take a different view from the government on the oil ang gas licences. This is about a phase-out and, ultimately, that is what it has to be in terms of fossil fuels”.

Earlier this year the prime minister announced that he would expand oil and gas drilling in the North Sea, with the prime minister also criticised for using Ulez as a tool with which to win the Uxbridge byelection.

King Charles also spoke at Cop28 earlier today said: “Unless we rapidly restore natures economy based on harmony and balance, which is our ultimate sustainer, our own economy and survivability will be imperilled”.

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